Saturday, August 26, 2006


A Brazilian Beginning

Melbourne Victory deserve considerable credit for adopting a more adventurous policy with regards to personnel this season, and last night’s A-League opener against Adelaide gave every indication that they have made the right move (although, of course, it’s still very early days).

Of the three Brazilians Melbourne fielded last night, one won their first-half penalty, the other scored their second goal, and the third was their best player of the night.

Alessandro, the attacking left back, showed plenty of verve. Like just about all Brazilian left-backs, he never misses an opportunity to get forward (often neglecting his defensive duties as a result, admittedly), and the skills he showed in winning the penalty – and earlier, come to that – were dazzling. Once or twice he couldn’t complement his pleasing skills with an appropriate pass, but he hardly did significantly worse than his colleagues in this regard.

Claudinho, a replacement for Fred in the second half, had few opportunities to show his wares. The lack of a link-man between Melbourne’s midfield and attack was glaring in the second half following Fred’s departure, and this lacuna resulted in the front-men being badly isolated for much of the time. Nevertheless, Claudinho gave the fans two moments to remember; his well-taken goal (which should, it must be said, have been disallowed for an earlier foul), and a stunning turn of pace towards the close, when he beat two Adelaide defenders out of sight and forced a good save from Robert Bajic.

But it was Fred who was the most impressive of the three. Always on the move and always inventive, he provided the creative spark in midfield which made Melbourne appear the better side for much of the evening. After he was replaced, Melbourne’s tactics became more and more basic, and Adelaide, particularly after the arrival of Costanzo (who should have been on from the beginning), took the initiative.

Brazil, with its endless supply of gifted players and its often financially irresponsible clubs, may become a fertile hunting ground for the A-League before too long. The Australian quality of life, the likelihood of one’s salary being paid on time, and the attractions of the major cities could prove just the incentives we need to woo some players capable of providing some of the on-field sparkle that the A-League needs.

Costanzo should have been on to man-mark Fred. With endless space provided to him by a disfunctional Adelaide midfield I thought he was quite poor - his pass completion rate would make for interesting viewing.

Alessandro is the only one that half worries me - and that is more due to my lack of faith in our right backs (Fyfe/Millsy it would seem) than his skill. Alagich had an off night.
...With endless space provided to him by a disfunctional Adelaide midfield I thought he was quite poor - his pass completion rate would make for interesting viewing....

Possibly, but I often felt he was looking for a man to give the ball to and not finding one...Danny and Archie weren't being the brightest off the ball.

Can't for the life of me understand the omission of Costanzo.
Costanzo was omitted to make space for an attacking midfield (Owens, Aloisi and Veart supporting Qu). Also went in with the attacking bench.

It backfired - Fred seems to be able to be taken out of the game by a manmarker (according to Lawrie McKinna whom I trust) and Costanzo would have done it brilliantly.

Adelaide's key faults lie in Aloisi and Veart. Time has come for Kossie to make the call and drop his captain - quite possibly even back to the reserves. Not up to it at all. With the likes of Rech not in the lineup and Kemp sitting back in SA they should have done better and must do better from here on in.
But it may be up to Kosmina to make that big call...
Although now I think about it I'm sure I've heard it before... Simon Hill's comment last night that there are 5000 Brazilians playing abroard really is - if accurate - quite unbelievable, when you ponder that thought.

Gawd knows where they all are, but I agree Mikey that many may very well be attracted here.

Sifting through them all is the key. Maybe we've found Fozzie's true calling, "A-League Brazilio Technician Talent Scout".

It'd be a cool business card; "If there's technical flair, I'm there".

- Sub
Fozzie in Brazil = fapfapfap (and I'm not talking at the beaches...)
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